Carlos Ghosn’s lead defense lawyer resigns

Motonari Otsuru, left, said previously Ghosn is unlikely to be bailed before his case reaches the court. (AFP)
Updated 13 February 2019
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Carlos Ghosn’s lead defense lawyer resigns

  • The law firm refused to comment or explain the reason behind the resignations
  • Lead lawyer Motonari Otsuru maintains a low profile in media and spoke publicly only once about Ghosn

TOKYO: Two lawyers defending former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct submitted their resignations on Wednesday, their law firm said in a statement.
There was no immediate explanation as to why the attorneys, who include lead lawyer Motonari Otsuru, were quitting Ghosn’s defense team.
Contacted by AFP, the firm declined to comment on the decision.
A brief statement said only that “today Otsuru and (Masato) Oshikubo submitted letters of resignation to the court as the defense lawyers for the case of Mr. Ghosn.”
The former Nissan executive has been in detention since November 19 and faces three charges including under-reporting his compensation and attempting to shift losses to his employer’s books.
Despite having taken on some of Japan’s high-publicity cases, Otsuru is known for maintaining a low media profile and spoke publicly only once about the Ghosn case at a press conference.
He cut an owlish and cautious figure, admitting that his client was unlikely to make bail before his case came to court — and saying that could take at least six months.
A former prosecutor, Otsuru’s representation of Ghosn pitted him against one of his old colleagues.
Otsuru pointedly declined to criticize the conditions his then-client was being held in, though Ghosn himself told AFP in an interview that he was in a “very hard” situation and slammed authorities for refusing him bail.


Bahrain to use Huawei in 5G rollout despite US warnings

Updated 14 min 31 sec ago
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Bahrain to use Huawei in 5G rollout despite US warnings

  • Washington has warned countries against using Chinese technology
  • ‘We have no concern at this stage as long as this technology is meeting our standards’

DUBAI: Bahrain plans to roll out a commercial 5G mobile network by June, partly using Huawei technology despite the United States’ concerns the Chinese telecom giant’s equipment could be used for spying.
Washington has warned countries against using Chinese technology, saying Huawei could be used by Beijing to spy on the West. China and Huawei have strongly rejected the allegations.
VIVA Bahrain, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian state-controlled telecoms firm STC, last month signed an agreement to use Huawei products in its 5G network, one of several Gulf telecoms companies working with the Chinese company.
“We have no concern at this stage as long as this technology is meeting our standards,” Bahrain’s Telecommunications Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed told Reuters on Tuesday when asked about US concerns over Huawei technology.
A senior State Department official said the US routinely urges allies and partners to consider the risks posed by vendors subject to extrajudicial or unchecked compulsion by foreign states.
The US Fifth Fleet uses its base in Bahrain, a Western-allied island state off the Saudi coast, to patrol several important shipping lanes, including near Iran.
Bahrain expects to be one of the first countries to make 5G available nationwide, Mohammed said, although he cautioned it would depend on handset and equipment availability.
Early movers like the United States, China, Japan and South Korea are just starting to roll out their 5G networks, but other regions, such as Europe, are still years away and the first 5G phones are only likely to be released in the second half of this year.
Bahrain’s state-controlled operator Batelco is working with Sweden’s Ericsson on its 5G network, while the country’s third telecoms group Zain Bahrain is yet to announce a technology provider.
No foreign company is restricted by the government from providing equipment for Bahrain’s 5G network, Mohammed said, adding mobile operators choose who they work with.
Australia and New Zealand have stopped operators using Huawei equipment in their networks but the European Union is expected to ignore US calls to ban the Chinese company, instead urging countries to share more data to tackle cybersecurity risks related to 5G networks.
Mohammed said the rollout of the 5G network was an “important milestone” for Bahrain, which is hoping investments in technology will help spur its economy, which was hit hard by a recent drop in oil prices.
“It is something we are proud to have,” he said.